The ESRC is seeking to commission an appropriately skilled and experienced interdisciplinary team to undertake a comprehensive examination of the UK social science PhD. The focus is on the capabilities needed by social science graduates to ensure their contribution to research and their global competitiveness, and the optimum ways to develop them. The findings of this review will directly inform the ESRC’s strategy for doctoral training and for recommissioning our Doctoral Training Partnerships in 2021/22. More broadly as a constituent part of UKRI the findings will contribute to wider discussions on the development of doctoral training across Councils as part of the UKRI Talent Strategy. Findings will also be of benefit to the sector more broadly. We are looking for a robust evidence base for ESRC (and also ROs and other social science doctoral funders) regarding the state of the art for social science doctorates in terms of length, structure and training content and would like to receive evidence in relation to:

  • The skills needed by future social scientists for careers both within and beyond academia
  • The optimum structures and content for social science PhDs
  • Areas where our current approach is working well
  • Areas within which revisions to our current requirements would be beneficial

The successful bidder will undertake an evidence review and stakeholder engagement between January – November 2020. Further details about this call and how to submit a bid can be found at: GOV.UK: UK SBS CR19073 - Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences. The deadline for submissions is 9 December 2019 with interviews scheduled for the 17 December 2019.